Pokemon 3: The Movie
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that some children may be upset by characters in peril (though no one gets hurt). The opening segment includes a scary dog, though he later cooperates with the Pokemons. In the feature story, Molly has lost her mother, and the magical Pokemon she thinks is her father steals Ash's mother for her. Her very loving father leaves her to pursue a scientific inquiry and disappears. This may be of concern to some children. The little girl's mother returns only during the closing credits, with no explanation. There is a little bit of "I want to be your boyfriend" humor, but it is very brief and utterly G-rated. Characters fall from high buildings or are launched from the ground and sent flying out of control. Characters do battle with Pokemon characters, who throw flames, water, or ice, or simply bash into each other.
What's the story?
As with the first two POKEMON features, this one includes both a short Pokemon-on-their-own adventure and a longer feature story along the familiar lines of Pokemon Trainer Ash and his pals saving the world. (A primer for newbies: Pokemons are adorable little pocket monsters who love to be caught by their human trainers, who carry them around and deploy them against the pocket monsters of other trainers, to see who is the best.) This time, the threat comes not from a mad scientist, as in the second Pokemon movie, or from a rogue Pokemon, as in the first movie, but from a little girl named Molly who unwittingly causes havoc when she meets up with some Pokemons who grant her every wish.
Is it any good?
Although this movie might be enjoyable for kids who enjoy Pokemon -- and for young parents who grew up in the 1990s and are feeling nostalgic for toys from their childhood -- on the whole, this movie is little more than an infomercial for the Pokemon line of toy products. The kids essentially play Pokemon sans the trading cards, and much of the action is derived from when these toy products come to life and get into battle.
For those who aren't in the above-mentioned categories, this movie is somewhat difficult to follow and not very interesting. There seem to be two or three narratives going on at the same time, but none of them is as remotely engaging and as filled with conflict as the actual battles among Pokemon creatures. Many of the character voicings are annoying and distracting, and the overall result is a muddled movie that feels like little more than an attempt to sell toys.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how having one's wishes granted may not always be a good thing and about the way the Pokemons take care of each other in the short segment and take care of their human trainers in the feature movie. Older kids may get a kick out of the way that the silly Team Rocket, always trying to get ahead of Ash and his friends, end up helping them out because "without them, we'd be out of show business!" They also may want to talk about the way Molly sees the shape of her Pokemon friend in a cloud and how we can keep those we love inside us always.
Does watching this movie make you want to buy all the related action figures, stuffed animals, and playing cards?
Does the cartoonish violence seem like it needs to be there? Why, or why not?